ESSAY

NETWORKED MEDIA ESSAY DRAFT 1

I can almost not even remember what life was like without online media. But how did this online world being the norm we know so well today? And what is it I actually do with online media to always want to be connected? Web 2.0 was a term that was developed in 2004 to describe how the world wide web was being utilised by developers (Kaplan & Haelein 2010). They had established a medium that no longer had the restraint of being created and published by a few individuals but was becoming a platform for collaborative modification by all users of the internet. (Kaplan & Haelein 2010). Due to this commercialization of the web there has been a clear change in attitude from the predominant internet user (Hinton & Hjorth 2013), and with the rise of social media as a platform, we now had the ability more than ever to readily publish, author and distribute whatever we want with very little restrictions put upon us (Hinton & Hjorth 2013).

Over the last week of documenting my online media use it really made me aware of how much my life revolves around the online world, in particular my social media platforms. When It came to documenting this down however I struggled a bit. I put this down to two reasons. One: because a lot of my social media use was pointless where I wasn’t actually authoring, publishing or distributing anything, and two because I found a lot of what I was doing to be really repetitive. Because we were documenting it in a blog format I wanted my reflections to still reflect my writing and have an interesting voice behind it. I felt by repeating myself this would eventually become boring to the reader, and yes I know this blog was for the purpose of class but I still found it hard to separate myself from the post as in my eyes this blog was still a reflection of my personality, just as my social media platforms are.

 

To get around this I decided to take  the approach where I would try focus on a certain media platform each day so I could therefore go into more depth and try to pinpoint how exactly I was authoring, publishing and distributing in each platform: therefore identifying how I actually use online media. I found that I actually didn’t do as much authoring, publishing and distributing as I thought I did, and when I did there was a very particular thought process that went behind it. I agree that social media is empowering (Hinton & Hjorth 2013) but I also believe it embodies narcissism in the user especially when we validate ourselves with the stance on how many likes, comments or shares we get on a post.

 

Lets look at my instagram post for example. Until I actually took the time to think about what goes behind posting a picture I thought it was as simple as picking a photo I wanted to share with my followers and posting it. This is so far from the truth in my experience.  There was always thought about timing (when was there going to be the highest amount of traffic interacting with instagram at that time). Then there was the right filter to cover it in and if it didn’t have enough likes in 24 hours is it even worth keeping up there. It was embarrassing to think that a lot of my online media use revolved around process like this and towards the end of my documentation I began to feel quite uncomfortable with myself.

 

By becoming more aware of what I do with online media and how much time I spend on social media platforms I thought about if I could go a day stepping away from the screen and if doing so would my so called ‘wasted time’ with online media be turned into something more productive? It was here when I decided to challenge myself to do the complete opposite of what we had just documented. In 2010, ICMPA completed a study with students from the University of Maryland called 24 hours: Unplugged where they were forced to go a whole day without engaging with any type of online media. Many believed they wouldn’t be able to function without their media links to the world however by the end of it many had also realised the benefits and limitations the presence of media was having on their lives (The world unplugged 2010).

 

I thought I would push myself and try to go just over 48 hours without it. It hadn’t even been an hour without my phone where I was experiencing feelings of withdrawal. Almost like an addiction where I was trying to find a way to involve myself. There was even points where my housemates had to monitor me to make sure I didn’t break it. How ridiculous is that that online media can have such a drawing force on my life? After the 48 hours was up it was straight to my phone to check in with the social media platforms and yeah I might have missed a photo here and there but was there really anything that important I couldn’t have gone without? Similar to the students who undertook the study the hardest thing I found was the inability to direct my lives without media (The world unplugged study 2010). I did find I had so much more time when I wasn’t completely connected to the online world that I certainly could be using in a more productive way.

 

Upon completing this online documentation I think I found a lot about how I personally use and engage with online media. Before my media detox there almost wasn’t a second when I wasn’t engaging in some type of online media as in this day and age we are always carrying devices that connect us.  Yes we say we can’t live without it but how do we defer between what is useful in our online media use and what is a complete waste of time.  I would love to go into more depth about the study ICMPA completed however due to the 1000 word limit of this essay I feel like it was quite hard to go into depth. If I have learnt anything from this exercise it’s certainly that I rely way too much on my online media use and I hope that In the future I can teach myself to be more aware of the time I spend online.

 

References:

 

Hinton, S & Hjorth, L 2013, Understanding Social Media, Sage Publications, New Delhi, India.

Kaplan, A.M. & Haelein, M 2010, ‘Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media’,Business Horizons, vol. 53, pp. 59-68.

Dr. Moeller S 2010. The world unplugged. Blog viewed Wednesday 5th April 2017, < https://theworldunplugged.wordpress.com/&gt;

ESSAY

Living with aand without online media: a comparison

I know I only went 48 hours without online media but it was honestly so hard. It reinstated the fact about how much I almost habitually use online media without even thinking about it. I felt like there were literally times where I had to hide my phone and laptop to stop myself from just going online without even thinking. Its almost like an addiction.

Something i did realise was how much I use social media to occupy my boredom. Without the draws of facebook and instagram to keep me scrolling I found time to go so much slower and it was almost like I had more time in my day. I notice this especially when it came to studying. It made me realise how often I will literally spend 1-2 hours scrolling through my social media feeds before I even begin to start studying. Without the temptations of social media I didnt have any excuses to not do things so I was definitely more pro active in that sense.

Without my phone and my apps there was definitely a  convinience issue. I thought I had to prepare myself before starting this investigation (pre downloading readings for uni etc) but there were so many things I didnt even think about that I would need. For example online banking is something we can do so easily with the click of a button, and because it was a weekend as well its not though I could go into a bank and physically do it. Other things included my PTV app, rather then knowing exactly when public transport was arriving I just had to guess (which was annoying when I had to wait for a tram for 15 minutes instead of my usual 2).

Overall it was an interesting challenge to put myself too, and in with saying challenge it really shouldnt have been one. But in all honestly it is almost impossible to completely live without the use of online media in this day and age. I think by doing this it has made me more aware of how caught up in the online world I am, in particularly the social media part. For the 48 hours I was offline I felt like I was completely off the grid. I experienced a lot of major FOMO and I spent my whole weekend at home without the draws of seeing my friends on social media and wanting to be apart of the action.

 

Living with aand without online media: a comparison

READINGS AND RESOURCES

talk about constraints

  • 1000 words was such a small word count to get so much information into, struggled to work within word count and has has a baring on my writing
  • its a reflection on your reflection
  • bring attention to the things the reader can see
  • talk about your discovery from your investigation
  • potential positives and potential negative

bring it back to the context of your course.

From completing this assignment it has made me realise how much time I spend online that isn’t necessarily useful. – how can i work on turning this non useful time into useful time?

Talk about how you need more words to go in depth about the study: The world unplugged.

READINGS AND RESOURCES

Evaluation

Upon completing the posts about my online media use it began to make me feel aware of how much my life revolves around online media. There almost wasn’t a second when I wasnt engaging in some type of online media. I was always on my phone: texting, calling, emailing, browsing. I guess ive never really been asked to think about my online use so it was almost quite confronting in a way.

What did I learn from authoring my posts?

When asked to look into my authoring of social media I realised I have a specific process I go through whenever it comes to sharing something online. Instagram for instance when I was posting on behalf of my ‘business page’ it was always about time (when you would get the most traffic so people see it), the way I edited and shared things to keep it as professional and aesthetically pleasing compared to say my personal use where I was posting photos that I liked and I didnt really care what people thought of them. Also the way I just scroll through my instagram feed. It really made me think about why I like the posts I do and why I follow the people I do. Is there an underlying reason why? Do I like things even though I dont really like the picture but just because they are my friends? In this day and age is that how we keep friendships through validations on social media?

what i disliked about the process?

The thing I dislike about the process was that i felt it got a little competitive because I was doing the same thing every day. Maybe I struggled as well as the way I blog I like to have a voice and I felt like it was a very monogamous topic to write about and I struggled to make it sound interesting in a blog post.

was it what you expected?

By becoming more aware of my online media use it made me uncomfortable and I need to start stepping away from the screen and i’ll probably start being more productive and have time for other things. I would almost like to do a counter investigation where I have to document the things i do on a daily basis without online media use and just see how my week would go.

What Issues did you encounter?

I found it harder to write about then I originally thought it would be mainly because Ive never really thought about the process of my online media engagement. I actually finished the week telling myself I should go on a social media cleanse because when I had to document my usage it almost made me uncomfortable how much its apart of my life.

From thinking about it like this I decided for the next 48 hours I would completely cut myself off of online media to compare the differences of my everyday life. I think I am going to struggle with this because after evaluating my use its so evident how much online media consumes my every day life. I think by completing this mini experiment however it would help give me something to compare my experiences too when i write my essay and also form an argument about how much online media is used in our every day lives today.

 

 

 

Evaluation

ANALYSIS BLOG ENTRY 1 – EVIDENCE

Over the last week of documenting my online media use it really made me aware of how much my life revolves around the online world. I felt a lot of my use was really repetitive – in a way its part of my daily routine and has become so normalised I dont even realise I use it so much. I think in my first blog post you can tell I was excited to document as my post is a lot more indepth about my online media use on a daily basis and you can hear that in my blog voice. But the next day after realising my use was pretty much the same I think I was too focussed on what my blog post was going to sound like so rather than continue to talk about everything I did on a daily basis i chose to focus on a different platform of media each day to try keep my posts interesting.

My first blog post I tried to outline all the different media platforms I engage with on a daily basis and even though that was easy when it came to writing about them in more depth I struggled as they are almost done in such a way that I dont think about it when Im using it –  so when we were asked to pin point and discuss why it actually made me question myself and why I spend so much time engaged with online media.

I think this is why I found it easier to focus on one platform in my daily posts rather than talk about all. For example my first day i focussed on mostly instagram and went into more depth about my processes and tried to look into why I use that app and why.

ANALYSIS BLOG ENTRY 1 – EVIDENCE